Govt to launch SME Policy next month: minister

APP News Agency

01st Oct, 2021. 04:24 pm

ISLAMABAD: The government will launch the SME Policy next month with the focus on productivity enhancement and competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the local and global market to achieve sustainable development in the country, a senior official said.

Addressing a seminar for women entrepreneurs on “Introduction to Productivity Journey and SMEs Fund for Business Recovery and Resilience for the Covid-19 effected SMEs” at the National Productivity Organization, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtyar highlighted the government’s efforts to support industrial development through a set of policies and tax benefits to industries and specifically women entrepreneurs.

He also shared that the government would introduce specialised credits for firms with the provisions for the majority of women.

The minister requested the women participants to share their proposals with the government, as it was highly committed to support the business community in Pakistan.

He said the proposed SME Policy would outline incentives for women-oriented businesses; thus, reducing the gender gap in the financial inclusion and mainstreaming the role of women in the economy.

The ministry would allot land to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on rental lease model in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

He called for a special lending scheme for the garment sector and IT-enabled services within the purview of the SME Policy.

The event was attended by parliamentary Industries and Production secretary Alia Hamza Malik, National Productivity Organization CEO Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry and members of the women’s chambers from across the country.

The session was organised with the objective to improve the productivity awareness of women entrepreneurs and active engagement in the SMEs Fund initiated by the NPO with the support of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO).

Addressing the session, Aliya Hamza highlighted that the Ministry of Industries and Production through its subordinate organisations such as NPO and Smeda was playing an active role in facilitating the women entrepreneurs so that they might excel in their relevant fields.

The government was focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable employment growth, skill-based education and engagement of youth and women in socioeconomic affairs, she added.

MNA Saira Bano said the government would take solid initiatives to utilise the potential of women entrepreneurs through NPO, Smeda, Tusdec and other relevant ministry organisations.

Federal parliamentary secretary for National Heritage and Culture Division, Ghazala Saifi, also briefed the participants that Lok Virsa was facilitating women entrepreneurs to sell their products/services.

She also said their division would support free stalls for deserving women identified and recommended through chambers.

Smeda CEO Hashim Raza, while sharing his views said that the women focused on the SME development was a key priority of Smeda, ministry of Industries and Production and the organisation had taken key initiatives to support women entrepreneurs, including Women Entrepreneurs Incubation Centre, National Business Development Programme and Industrial Stitching Unit Grants.

NPO CEO Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry briefed the participants that it was the first step towards launching the productivity movement in Pakistan, as the government had recently approved the NPO project, “Improving Competitiveness through Sustainable National Productivity (SNP)”, which aimed at enhancing the productivity awareness among the masses through trainings, seminars, conferences, engagement of experts and awareness tools such as productivity portal, journal, walks, competitions, curricula, etc.

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